FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind to Award $100,000

First-ever Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards to be Presented at 2008 Convention

Baltimore, Maryland (December 5, 2007): The National Federation of the Blind today launched the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program.  Beginning in 2008, the National Federation of the Blind will present cash awards to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. 

Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a blind physician who lived and practiced in Chicago in the early twentieth century.  He was widely known and respected in Chicago and throughout the Midwest during his career, which spanned the period from 1912 until his untimely death at the age of thirty-six in 1924.  He was particularly recognized for his expertise on diseases of the heart and lungs.  Bolotin used his many public speaking engagements to advocate for the employment of the blind and their full integration into society. 

Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a pioneer who overcame low expectations and discrimination to become a renowned member of the medical profession without the benefit of the support services and civil rights protections available to blind people today.  He was also a fierce advocate for greater opportunity for the blind in his time, and doubtless would have been a leader in the organized blind movement had he lived to see it come into being.  The Jacob Bolotin Award Program will celebrate his pioneering spirit by recognizing and supporting outstanding programs, technologies, and individual efforts that promote independence and opportunity for blind Americans.”

Applications and nominations for the 2008 Jacob Bolotin Awards are now being accepted.  The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee of the National Federation of the Blind will determine the recipients of the awards.  Applications and nominations are due by March 1, 2008, and the award recipients will be announced later in the spring.  The cash awards, totaling $100,000, will be presented at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind to be held in Dallas next July.

The Jacob Bolotin Award Program is funded through the generosity of Dr. Bolotin’s nephew and niece, Alfred and Rosalind Perlman.   The late Mrs. Perlman established the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust to endow the award.  Income from the trust is distributed to the National Federation of the Blind and the Santa Barbara Foundation for the purpose of administering the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program.  Mrs. Perlman also wrote The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story.  The book was published by Blue Point Books and can be ordered directly from the publisher at www.bluepointbooks.com.  A portion of the proceeds from book sales will also benefit the award program.  For more information about the Jacob Bolotin Award Program, including eligibility criteria and application procedures, visit www.nfb.org.